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On the Shelf

Buy Elvis’s Library Card

August 9, 2012 | by





  1. Tom May | August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I fail to see how the project from Singularity and Co. qualifies as bookstore news. Will I go to their bookstore and browse a section of cyberspace? A real contribution would be to just print the damn thing. Then of course the production costs would be huge – real costs! – and their profits would be tiny. These guys are smart: they are better off doing it on-line, where the profit margins are as generous as the publishers at Singularity & Co. All we lose is book as art. Don’t help them peddle their noble enterprise.

  2. Joe Carlson | August 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    My heart goes out to Charlene over 65 years. Why check out The Courageous Heart: A Life of Andrew Jackson For Young Readers three times running? Was she a slow reader? Kept putting it off? Was she obsessed with Jackson, whose Hermitage was up the road near Nashville? We all know what happened to The King but what of Charlene? Did she become an historian? Spend her life in Tennessee? And why is she the only “young reader” without a last name? Who speaks for Charlene!

  3. Tom May | August 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Maybe Charlene just liked looking at the book’s pretty jacket.

  4. Joe Carlson | August 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    No, Tom, I feel I know Charlene much better than you do. We have bonded in some mystical way. Believe her to be a serious and studious person. She would not judge a book by its cover – NO! – NOT MY CHARLENE! Besides the book, which you will find on Amazon, has no cover at all! So there, Tom!

  5. Shelley | August 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Why is it always so moving to see someone’s old library card? Somehow these things we read when we’re young always make me think of Jay Gatsby.

  6. Tom May | August 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks, Joe. I feel like I know Charlene much better now.

  7. Joe Carlson | August 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Tom, please don’t mention HER NAME again! Shelley, here is Jay Gatsby’s List:

    Rise from bed – 6.00 A.M.
    Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling – 6.15-6.30
    Study electricity, etc . – 7.15-8.15
    Work – 8.30-4.30 P.M.
    Baseball and sports – 4.30-5.00
    Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it – 5.00-6.00
    Study needed inventions – 7.00-9.00
    No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable]
    No more smokeing or chewing
    Bath every other day
    Read one improving book or magazine per week
    Save $5.00 {crossed out} $3.00 per week
    Be better to parents

  8. Lizz | August 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Okay I’m putting on my spectacles and wearing my hair in a bun –

    This is not a library card, it’s the book’s check-out card.

    Elvis’s library card is what he would have shown to be able to check out this book.

    Just saying…

  9. Joe Carlson | August 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Lizz: The Daily Mail, which Sadie links to, calls it a library card as does The Huffington Post, which picked up the story from the Mail. Perhaps the nomenclature dates back 65 years when you had to “sign” the card for each book you were borrowing, which of course we haven’t done for decades. Also, it was a high school library not a public library so maybe things work differently. I never had a “library card” in high school but I remember borrowing books from the school I attended.

  10. Ash | August 10, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Tom – We’re going to be printing paper as soon as possible, totally understand your feelings on the topic.

    Plus, in case you missed it, we opened a brand new independent brick and mortar bookshop today. So, bookstore news.

  11. Spirit Bear | August 10, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Joe Carlson: Just because they say its so, doesn’t make it so. Lizz is absolutely correct. This was not Elvis’s library card, but rather the book card that you signed when you checked out the particular book. It would go inside the book and as you can see, everyone who checked it out would sign it. It would be stamped when you borrowed the book… that way they’d know if it was returned on time. So Lizz is correct and the Daily Mail and Huffington Post failed to vet this story. Big fail but no surprise.

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